Welcome back to my breastfeeeding meanderings – if you missed the first instalment, The First Feed, you can find it here.
So you may be wondering what I’m talking about with my assertion of calmness. The first few days after your baby is born will perhaps feel anything but calming…yes, you have just given birth and, yes, you’re knackered and, oh yes, you’re feeding your baby every hour or two to keep their little marble-sized tummy full. But stick with me….I really think that colostrum feeding can be a moment of relative calm in the breastfeeding timeline and we should try to utilise it.
On both occasions with my children I had a mere 48 hours with colostrum and look back on it wistfully as a simpler, pre-milk, time of life. Although first time round it was all a bit of a haze and it was only after my milk came in that I realised what I’d missed.
With my second I was in a state of nervous anticipation of the milk coming in and so tried to really enjoy the couple of colostrum days we were given. We had a few potential challenges, with tongue tie being the most obvious, but were able to use this calm time to address the challenges before they became problems.
So what am I really advocating in these first few days? Well, like a breastfeeding bootcamp, I think it’s an opportunity to practice all sorts of things before your breasts blow up (more on that joy next time) and while your baby’s digestion is relatively untroubled. It’s a chance to use each feed to perfect the latch (and your Lansinoh nipple cream application ability) and try out different positions to find one that works for you and your baby. If there’s any energy left after all that and the mixed results it could bring I would also throw ‘master hand expressing’ on the To Do list.
Global Health Media make, in my opinion, the clearest breastfeeding videos around and if you’ve wandered here looking for something useful about latch and positioning I would urge you to watch those two videos particularly. The latch one has a cracking (sorry!) illustration of the importance of a wide mouth and deep latch with a look inside the baby’s mouth that visually really works for me. You can find all their videos here.
The final thing to say about colostrum is that it’s a bit of a super substance…just think of all the good stuff in it. We used it this time round to clear my baby’s sore eye so I can testify to its power in that regard at least and the La Leche League have a great article on ALL the bad-stuff-busting goodness of colostrum which you can find here.
So if this isn’t a leap into the ridiculous too much I wish you many happy colostrums feeds…